Diphtheria-containing vaccine is recommended in a 5-dose schedule at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months, and 4 years of age.

Infants and children receive diphtheria toxoid in combination with tetanus toxoid and acellular pertussis, as DTPa (diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis)-containing vaccines.

Infants can have their 1st dose of diphtheria-containing vaccine as early as 6 weeks of age. This can reduce the risk of illness or death from pertussis. See. Table. Minimum acceptable age for the 1st dose of scheduled vaccines in infants in special circumstances in Catch-up vaccination

If the 1st dose of diphtheria-containing vaccine is given at the age of 6 weeks, infants should still receive their next scheduled doses at 4 months and 6 months of age (see Pertussis). Multiple doses of diphtheria-containing vaccines during childhood are needed to provide a protective level of immunity.1

The vaccines usually received at each schedule point are:

  • 2, 4 and 6 months of age — DTPa-hepB-IPV-Hib (diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis, hepatitis B, inactivated poliovirus, Haemophilus influenzae type b)
  • 18 months of age — DTPa
  • 4 years of age — DTPa-IPV

Page history

Last updated: 
4 June 2018
Last reviewed: 
4 June 2018


diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine
inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine